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Little Baako sat sulking in her mud hut. It was Sunday. Her mother would be giving birth to a baby soon. She was irritated and angry seeing the ladies around her neighborhood camp inside and outside her house waiting to hear the good news. She pushed past Chipo, the local midwife, and left. Chipo had been there clucking away since five in the morning, assisting her mother with her delivery much to her annoyance. She pedaled on her bicycle hard and fast to get away from all the commotion as quickly as possible. She had never wanted a younger sister or brother to play with and she did not know why her mother bothered asking if she was not planning on listening.

Abayomi was in his shop repairing an old bicycle when he saw Baako go by in her pink bicycle. He called out to her but she did not acknowledge his greeting. She stopped a few trees away. Abayomi wiped the grease on a rag and jogged towards her. Her usually cheery face was pale and sad. Her shirt, which was always well-tucked inside her skirt, was hanging loose on the sides. He noticed her bare neck without her favorite locket.

Abayomi suspected Baako was not too happy with the new baby's arrival. He had heard her once say so indirectly to him. She believed the child would steal her mother's love and not leave much for her. Abayomi watched as she walked around in an agitated manner, ignoring him.

"Come on, Baako," Abayomi started. She stared at him and got back on the bicycle. He gave her some time to cool down. "The bicycle in my workshop would be fun to repair if only I had an extra pair of hands. Will you help me?" he asked.

Baako, who had become less restless by then, seemed reluctant at first, but agreed as she needed some distraction. She pushed her bicycle to his shed nonchalantly. Baako had too much of pride in her to give in that easily. The place was messy with spare parts of machines and tools strewn all over the floor. Baako noticed Aba sleeping in a corner, all curled up. "Aba is sick. If he had felt better, I would have completed all my work before noon," said Abayomi.

Baako opened his toolbox and was greeted with a picture of the brothers taken during a fair in town. Aba was holding a balloon while Abayomi had his nose in an ice cream cone. They seemed happy. "That was last summer, just after the heavy rains. We had so much fun! None of my friends could make it, but luckily, I had Aba," he said with a twinkle in his eyes. Baako knew where the conversation was going.

Baako listened to Abayomi talk more about his brother. The love they shared made Baako doubt her hatred towards the unborn baby. Maybe she too might be a good companion. Abayomi mended the bicycle and went to wash up. He was eager to see the baby and wanted to follow Baako back to her home.

   
Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1. Explain why Baako was 'sulking', 'irritated and angry' (paragraph 1). Give two reasons for your answer.
  2. What was the 'good news' (paragraph 1) the writer was referring to ?
  3. In paragraph 2, which action of Baako showed that she wanted to talk to Abayomi ?
  4. What was Baako's fear of the baby's arrival ?
  5. Who is a midwife ?
  6. Explain clearly why Baako 'needed some distraction' (paragraph 5).
  7. Baako had 'nonchalantly' (paragraph 5) walked to Abayomi's shed. Why do you think she did that ?
  8. What was Baako thinking when Abayomi spoke with a twinkle in his eyes ?
  9. From paragraph 2, how would you describe Baako's character traits ? Give two of them.
  10. In what way had Baako's opinion of the baby changed by the end of the story ?
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Answers
 

1.

Baako was not happy about her mother having another child and also there were a lot of people inside and outside her house.
 

2.

He was referring to the birth of Baako's sibling. / He was referring to the baby Baako's mother was about to give birth to.
 

3.

Baako stopped her bicycle a few trees away from Abayomi's shop when she had initially refused to acknowledge his call.
 

4.

She was afraid that her mother would transfer all her love and attention to the baby and leave only a little for her.
 

5.

A midwife is someone (or a nurse) who helps a woman give birth. / She is someone who helps an expectant mother with her delivery.
  6. Baako needed something to occupy her time/ something to do/something to keep her busy so that she would not think much about what was bothering her.
  7. She did not want to give the impression that she wanted to help Abayomi. / She did not want Abayomi to think that she had given in to his request so easily. / She did not want Abayomi to think she was interested to help him.
  8. She was probably thinking that Abayomi was trying to tell her how nice it was to have a sibling.
  9. Baako was always cheery and neat in her dressing.
  10. Baako had started to doubt that she really hated the baby and that the baby might be a good companion.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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